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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Dozens of angry parents showed up at a DeKalb County School Board meeting Thursday afternoon thinking they'd been sandbagged.

"Tuesday night, we found out Tuesday night about this and we are, we were very upset and very concerned," parent Pyper Green told 11 Alive News.

Like many, she was alarmed by a possible realignment plan that came out earlier this week suggesting DeKalb County close 8 elementary schools.

Faced with fewer students and underused schools, especially in the southern part of the county, DeKalb school officials believe closing the schools could save $4-million.

But the biggest shock to parents was another suggestion that middle school students, 6th, 7th and 8th graders, be mixed in with older students at three DeKalb High Schools.

"I, as a parent, am concerned about the safety of 6th graders being in a building with 12th graders," Byron Merritt told 11 Alive.

"That sounds like a formula for disaster," he added.

But at the afternoon board meeting, both Chairman Eugene Walker and Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson assured the angry crowd that nothing is set in stone yet.

The board voted to postpone any action until at least January and only after holding several public hearings.

"We will not betray you; we will represent you to the fullest and ensure that you're heard," Chairman Walker told them.

Walker said the school system is already behind one year in filing a 5 year facility plan with the state or face losing $40-million in state funding help.

He said the process is just beginning and nothing has to be finalized until next June.

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